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There is a lot of misinformation about how to treat ear problems properly and safely so we’ve put together a short list of frequently asked questions about ears and ear wax:

  • 1. How can I unblock my ears?

    An ear blockage is often caused by a build-up of ear wax (cerumen) in the ear canal. While ear wax is a naturally occurring substance, sometimes it can harden, making it difficult to remove from the ear.

    A safe way to unblock your ears from excess ear wax build-up is to use cerumenolytic agents.

  • 2. Where does ear wax come from?

    Ear wax is a naturally occurring substance produced by the ceruminous gland (sweat gland) in the ear’s external auditory canal. The substance mixes with excretions from the sebaceous glands, skin cells and hair to create “cerumen” or ear wax.

    The role of cerumen is to keep the ear clean. It traps dirt, bacteria and viruses in the wax as it travels from the middle ear to the outer ear. Once the cerumen reaches the outer ear, the body expels it.

    Sometimes ear wax can build up and harden on its journey out of the ear. Ear drops such as WAXSOL assist by softening the ear wax and helping it make its way out of the ear.

  • 3. What is ear wax made of?

    Ear wax is a waxy substance also known as ‘cerumen’ that occurs naturally in the ear.

    What is sebum?

    Sebum is a compound made up of mostly fatty acids secreted from the sebaceous glands located in the skin. Waxy or oily in nature, sebum is believed to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair of mammals. This substance mixes with the oily secretions from the ceruminous sweat glands in the ear to create cerumen.

    What does cerumen do?

    Cerumen, or ear wax, is believed to assist in lubricating and cleaning the ear canal as well as protecting the inner ear from possible bacterial infections and fungi. It also protects the delicate inner ear by forming a waterproof lining around the ear canal.

    How is cerumen removed from the ear?

    In most cases, ear wax naturally works its way out of the body via normal facial and jaw movements. However, cerumen can occasionally build up in the ear, causing a blockage. When this happens, you may need assistance to remove the ear wax buildup.

    An easy way to assist the removal of excess ear wax is with WAXSOL ear drops. View our how-to-use video here.

    *E. Haahtu, T. Nikkari, O. Koskinen “Fatty Acid Composition of Human Cerumen” Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation, 1960, Vol.12, No.2: P 249-250


WAXSOL® is widely available from all good pharmacies throughout Australia.


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